Archive for September, 2006

I’m Presenting at eBay University

Thursday, September 14th, 2006

Come hear me and other Certified Providers speak at upcoming eBay University dates:

http://pages.ebay.com/university/classes.html

We’ll be in Dallas, TX and Clearwater, FL in September as well as New York City and Los Angeles in October. The NY dates are part of the very cool Digital Life convention. Register now as space is limited!


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What If the Relationship Didn’t Matter

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

Imagine you have a subscriber who wants your service, and imagine that service is mailed to a certain address. Imagine your customer moves, and imagine that based on your corporate policies, you will no longer mail anything to that person. Imagine you don’t tell your subscriber this. You just stop sending, and you sell their subscription to someone else.

Does this sound smart? Does this sound like it’s more likely to piss people off than endear them to you? Well that’s what the post office did to me.

I’ve had PO Box 208 in Massapequa Park, NY since some time in 1995. I’ve always paid for it on time, and even though I moved to Arizona, I was waiting for my next bill to renew my box. I figure I’ll have it forever. So many people over so many years have that address. It doesn’t pay to be inconsistent and stop receiving mail there.

But the post office chose that for me. Their policy is that once I fill out a change of address form showing that I’m permanently moving out of the area, they won’t offer me my PO Box again. So they could have a paying customer, but they won’t even ask me if I want to renew. They sold my box to someone else, which also means that they have NO concept of the importance of a consistent mailing address for a business. Nobody looked or cared that I had that address for over 10 years. I moved away, so someone else should have this box.

When they told me that was their policy, I asked them to show me something I signed that proved that I knew that policy. Why have policies that affect me and not tell me about them? Are you doing that to your customers? Are you inconveniencing them and then hiding behind "it’s our policy"?

They’re going to try to keep accepting some mail for me at that address even though that’s now someone else’s address. I just yesterday got my renewal notice for PO Box 68085 here in Tucson. Even though I am thinking of moving out of state next year, I am going to send them a BIG check and make sure I have this box for many years!

The Tucson PO box costs WAY less per year than the one in Massapequa Park, so I save money if I stop paying for box 208. Who is the real winner here? I think we’re both the loser since I’m mad, and a box at the UPS Store is looking much better.!

Make sure that you are not hiding behind policies designed to inconvenience paying customers. Make sure that it IS about keeping and enhancing relationships.


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Water on Planes

Tuesday, September 12th, 2006

Still can’t bring a bottle of water on a plane. Evidently, they are afraid that even if you drink it to show it’s not uranium, it’s just too dangerous.

So why not make people throw away all water and other banned items at security. Then, if we want to, we can BUY bottled water in the airport. Because the airport would have such tight security that no water for sale could be tainted, right? So let me buy YOUR water, and let me bring that on the plane.

The whole thing is so dumb. We can ban all the water we want because it’s about people. The moment you have a pilot, aircraft crew, or other airport employee who conspires with a passenger, all the banned water won’t matter. Those people could sneak things through their own security (since we know airport security is so inconsistent), and then pass that to the passenger who breezed through security himself/herself.

Then will it really matter that nobody was allowed to bring liquid mascara on flights for weeks?


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Spray Cheese Banned on Planes

Monday, September 11th, 2006

Looking over the TSA list of what you can and cannot bring in your carry on or checked luggage, I found something curious.

No cheese in pressurised containers.

For a moment, I wasn’t sure what that was. I’m thinking wrapped slices. Hunks in plastic. Crumbles on a sandwich. I wasn’t sure. And then it hit me.

Spray fake cheese in a can? Do a lot of people bring their own Cheese Whiz/Easy Cheese on a plane? Are you supposed to bring ANY pressurised can on a plane and set it off? But seriously, do so many people get in seat 17A and produce water crackers and a can of spray cheese that this had to be specially on the list?

It’s September 11th. I think it’s an insult to what happened and what’s going on that the best our goverment seems to be able to do is to make sure that none of us bring spray cheese or a bottle of water on a plane.


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Lysol Kills Viruses?

Friday, September 8th, 2006

I can’t make sense out of something. The Lysol commercial says it kills something like 99% of viruses.

From what I remember of going to the doctor, you can’t get rid of a virus. No medication will kill it. You can treat the symptoms, but the virus just has to run its course.

Then why don’t they make Lysol in pill form? Why can Lysol kill viruses that’ll cause colds and stuff, but nobody has a medicine that can kill viruses and cure your cold?


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Bank of America SiteKey

Thursday, September 7th, 2006

Bank of America is running commercials about how you’re going to know you’re safely logged into their system thanks to them showing you an image that you chose. Nobody would know what image you chose, so you know you’re really logged into their site if you see the right image.

According to their website, you will go to their website and give your online banking ID. If it recognises your computer, you’ll see the image you chose. If it doesn’t recognise your computer, the website will ask you one of your secret questions. If you answer that correctly, it’ll show you the image you chose. Then you can enter your password.

So let me get this right. If I want to write a spoof email, all I have to do is create a website that pretends it doesn’t recognise that person’s computer. That would at least get me their user ID and secret question answer.

I bet that if I then asked them to pick which is their selected image, most of these people would. I’d then know their image, I’d show it and thank them, and then ask for their password. I bet at least half the people who followed my spoof email would choose their image and give me their password.

Therefore, I think that this system is faulty. I don’t think this will stop people from entering information on fake websites. I wonder if it’ll make it easier to get information out of people. Bad marketing.


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